Nortel has unveiled plans to be first-to-market with the industry’s broadest portfolio of unified communications (UC) solutions and applications built around Microsoft’s new Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007.
The new solutions enable users to connect, communicate and collaborate seamlessly to improve business performance.
"As the only IP-PBX manufacturer currently testing with Microsoft’s development team, Nortel and Microsoft are already successfully trialing these unified communications solutions with customers around the world,” says Nortel country manager Magda Engelbrecht.
Joel Hackney, president: Enterprise Solutions at Norte, comments: “With solutions that span VoIP, branch office, conferencing, IP phones, data networking and integration services, Nortel is providing enterprises with the industry’s most complete portfolio of unified communications solutions to enhance their Microsoft OCS experience. Through our Innovative Communications Alliance (ICA) with Microsoft, we are leading the integration with Microsoft’s new unified communications platform.”
In just over a year since the alliance was formed, Nortel and Microsoft have collected more than 300 joint wins representing over 900 000 licenses.
"I’m excited about the tremendous momentum behind the Microsoft and Nortel relationship as well as Nortel’s innovation in solutions for Office Communications Server,” says Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. “With the deep engagement we have together, we will further accelerate customer adoption of unified communications solutions that deliver the fastest time to business value.”
As part of a joint road map affirmed by Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in January 2007, Nortel expects to be first in the industry to offer customers software-based “native” interoperability between its IP-PBX portfolio and Office Communications Server 2007. This will deliver richer functionality with less complexity and operations costs.
Planned for availability in first quarter 2008, Nortel will offer the following Microsoft interoperable solutions:
* Nortel Converged Office integrates the comprehensive telephony feature set of Nortel’s IP-PBX, with Office Communications Server 2007. The solution scales to tens of thousands of users, supports business’s existing internal dial plans, and provides capabilities that aren’t available with less functional gateway solutions. Converged Office uniquely enables Office Communicator as the single end-user interface to perform all UC functions such as VoIP soft client, instant messaging, presence, conferencing and performing remote call control of any desk phone connected to a Nortel IP-PBX.
* Nortel Multimedia Conferencing 5.0 is a reservationless, customer premise audio/video solution that provides subscribers with ubiquitous access to an “always on” conferencing resource. Nortel offers users the ability to dial-in to a conference from anywhere, and from any device. The integration of Nortel’s Multimedia Conferencing with Office Communication Server 2007 can support a mix of attendee types including on premise users with desktop clients, analog phones, digital or IP phones as well as partners, customers and remote callers. The joint conferencing solution enables an audio conference to seamlessly convert into a desktop video conference.
* The Nortel UC Integrated Branch combines Microsoft Mediation functionality into the Nortel Secure Router 4134. The platform simplifies branch office networking by integrating WAN routing, Ethernet switching, security and toll quality VoIP into a single modular, cost effective platform that delivers up to two to seven times the performance of competing solutions. The integration of Microsoft Mediation, the first of its kind on an integrated branch platform, will help enable enterprises deploying Office Communications Server 2007 to seamlessly extend UC functionality into the branch office with better manageability and quality of experience than competing solutions.
* Nortel applications switches and accelerators are key components of Nortel’s Business Optimised Networking portfolio, aimed at delivering a simplified and optimized network infrastructure to support unified communications solutions. Nortel Application Switches provide intelligent load balancing that allows superior scalability and business continuity for Office Communications Server 2007. Nortel Application Accelerators are optimized for Microsoft SharePoint and Outlook Web Access to improve application response time by up to 30 times.
* LG-Nortel, the LG Electronics and Nortel joint venture, have unveiled their LG-Nortel IP Phone 8500 series unified communications devices. Optimised for use with Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007, the devices allow easy access sophisticated UC capabilities such as VoIP, directory dialing, calendar integration, call diversion and presence checking. The devices also support the ability to securely access user contacts, calendars, voice mail and call logs.
A strategic systems integration partner for Microsoft's unified communications solutions, Nortel has more than 120 Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers and 40 people certified to support Exchange 2007. In addition, Nortel expects to have more than 100 people certified to support Office Communications Server 2007 by early 2008. To date, Nortel has provided unified communications services from the Nortel Global Services portfolio for more than 40 joint Microsoft and Nortel unified communications solution deployments globally.
In a separate release, Nortel and Dell unveiled an agreement to provide Dell’s North American customers with complete unified communications solutions leveraging Nortel’s entire Enterprise Solutions portfolio including solutions from the Nortel and Microsoft’s Innovative Communications Alliance, as well as a suite of related services. Additionally, Dell and Nortel have established joint product-development initiatives.
Meanwhile, Gartner has positioned Nortel in the Leaders quadrant in the '2007 Unified Communications Magic Quadrant' report.